I am a parentless parent


I haven’t written in a very long time. I started and then graduated from Graduate  School (yeah for me!). I started and then ended a new job (5 years in what was not a fun job) and it showed me how much I am not a good fit for the corporate world. It only took me about 12 years to figure out, but hey sometimes the money is good and I can be a slow or perhaps stubborn learner.

What has really rocked my world was becoming a mother to twin boys. Yes, twins. It was a rocket of a ride being pregnant and working in an environment that was less than supportive. The less than supportive environment and toxic people I was surrounded with ended up being a good thing for my decision making. Being pregnant brought up old retired demons I thought I had rid myself of. Childhood fears bubbled to the surface and a steroidal mama bear was born. It was freeing and frightening.

There is so much I could and will eventually say about being a pregnant with twins woman, a twin mom, a wife and a changed member of society. What has really sent my rocket into unchartered territory is coping with the death of both of my dads in the span of 8 months. Even as I type that, it seems more real than it was before that sentence had not been typed by me and tears are streaming down my face. I am completely parentless.

My rock died first, Mel. My mentor, my comfort and the person who always saw the best part of me when I was at my worst. My Mel. It was and remains horrible to think of the world going on without him in it. He remains one of the most beautiful humans I know. His flaws made him all the more loveable and reminded me that he is no saint, but he is my dad. Watching him be a grandpa to my boys was a delight and the thought of my little ones not remembering his hugs and vulnerable love is almost more than I can handle. I will say the pain has been worth it. It reminds me of the love he and I still share. Without that love, there would not be the level of pain I am in and I will take that pain any day of the week than not experience the love.

It was a sudden and unexpected death. And, if there is one thing I know for sure it is that he was not ready to go. “I miss him” is a phrase that does not and could not embrace the depths of the hole in my life, but it’s the best the English language has to offer right now. And, I do. I miss him.

Fast forward to 8 months and one day later, and my biological dad died. Cancer. Fucking cancer. I am fairly certain he assisted and sped up his expiration date. His partner, the love of his life, was dying and just as I have a hard time imagining life without my Mel he could not imagine a life without his Barney. My dad delayed treatment for his cancer. He actually did not have to die. It was very treatable and discovered early. Barney was already dying and I believe my dad thought this would be an easier exit for him. So, 2 years after he was diagnosed and 2 months after Barney took his last breath my dad took too much of pain meds.

When both of your parents are gone (my mother has been gone for 10 years, but I didn’t really know her so this is different) you feel as if part of your history has disappeared. There is no one to ask about only the stories they know of you as a little person. There is no one who will love you as your parents love you. I know this now as a parent. I see my boys in a way no one else will ever see them. I was always my dad’s baby. I was always my dad’s pride. I was always my dad’s heart. And, I had that times two! Imagine seeing all of this in not one, but two different sets of daddy eyes. All girls should be so lucky.

Another chapter to write in my life. Another chapter I will be seeking silver linings from. My kids are better than a silver lining though. They are my constant reminders that life is here now and though the moments may be frustrating, sad and possibly defeated the moments are also giggling, discovering and receiving love from two 2 year olds that fills my heart with joy.

After all, it is only fair that I should be raising two boys after two dads raised me.

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2 responses to “I am a parentless parent

  1. I’m so glad you’re out of blogging retirement! (I think you’ll like WP. I do!)

    And I love your final observation… about raising two boys after being raised by two dads. It still breaks my heart that you lost them both in such a short span of time (or that you lost them at all, for that matter), but I’m so glad I got to meet Mel. What a gentle man. His love for you and your family was evident to me–a stranger–how much more so it must have been to you. You have been incredibly blessed.

    And you continue to be… I wonder if God knew that in losing both of your dads, you’d need both of your boys to help fill the gaping hole in your heart that would be left in the wake of their departure. Littles have a way of making the dreariest days joyful and giggly. Their innocence and sense of silly restore the smiles of the grown-ups weighed down by life. Their carefree exuberance rubs off on us. So, when you find yourself with a case of the mullygrubs, missing one or both of your dads, grab your adorable munchkins for a squeeze. Because even if they don’t remember their grandads, they know them. Because their mama is their grandads’ greatest legacy and the embodiment of their best qualities.

    So many hugs, dear friend! And I’m glad to see you’re putting pen to paper–er, fingers to keypad–again!

  2. Thanks friend – finding time to write/type/ponder is a challenge, but one I need to get better at conquering.

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